[CQ-Contest] QSL'ing

Fred Laun K3ZO aalaun at ibm.net
Thu Nov 6 23:33:55 EST 1997

Behind as usual, but I had to get my two cents' worth in on this one.

I am an active contester and though not making as many QSO's as the
multiops I routinely  run off 1500-2500 QSO's in each of the seven major DX
Contests each year.  Plus I enjoy getting into the regional and
single-country DX contests as well (with the exception of the WAE) so that
is several thousand more contest QSO's each year.  Plus I operate each year
for about a month from HS0ZAR which runs up another 2000 or so QSO's annually.

Like ON4UN I love QSL'ing.  And I don't use labels but I (or the XYL) fill
out each QSL by hand.

I keep a record of all stations I have worked outside the continental 48
with my K3ZO call in 11 analog books (because the system was started 14
years before I had a computer and I don't feel like doing the keypunching
necessary to data-process it up to date) which are at my operating
position.  If I hear a particular station  I can look up the call
immediately in this set of books.  If I am doing general DX'ing I only call
stations self-defined as "rare" and which I have never worked before on any
band.  (I make exceptions to this rule on 6 meters).  That is why you will
frequently see me spot a station on packet that I am not working at the time.

At the end of each contest I do the following:

1) Use a search-and-replace program to slash all of the zeroes in the
callsigns of the stations I have worked.

2) Print out a copy of my log which goes into a binder.  A new binder is
started each year.

3) Have Word-Perfect sort my contest log in alphanumeric callsign order.

4) Go through this sort with my system of 11 books and mark each log entry
which is a never-before-worked callsign (Yes VX3EJ will get a QSL even if I
have worked VE3EJ before).  

5) Deliver the completed log to the XYL who proceeds to fill out an
expensive, multi-colored QSL -- which I have printed in Thailand -- for
each entry.

When I receive a direct QSL which requests my QSL, I answer the QSL
directly whether or not return postage is received, and whether or not I
have already sent a card to that station via the Bureau.

When I receive a bureau shipment (thanks NY3Y for taking such good care of
me!) I do the following:

1.  I sort the cards into four categories:

   a.  QSL's which say "Tks QSL"  -- filed with no further action.
   b.  QSL's for K3ZO
   c.  QSL's for HS0ZAR
   d.  QSL's for other stations which have come to me by mistake.

2. I begin answering cards for K3ZO, using the PVRC club cards which a lot
of us in PVRC use.  I start with the binder for the current  year and work
backwards.  As I pull cards to be answered out of the Bureau box, I sort
them by year of QSO, while at the same time answering immediately those
which are in the binder for the current year. I then go through each year's
binder in turn until I am finished.

3.  I begin answering cards for HS0ZAR, where the QSO sheets are in a
separate binder.
My HS0ZAR QSL's were also printed in Thailand, and though not expensive I
think they are reasonably original and attractive.
4.  I go through the cards in category (d) above.  If they were meant for
some other USA station but were sent to me by mistake, I mail them to that
station at my expense.
If someone had me down as manager for someone I am not manager for or for
someone I am no longer manager for, I do have a series of labels which
explains the problem and returns the card through the bureau back to the
sender.  If someone busted my call, there is a label for that problem also
and the card is returned to the sender without action.  Ditto with those
who are not in my log.  (Yes, I check the log entry faithfully for every
QSO before I answer). 

5.  All SWL cards are answered in the same manner they are received, but I
do not keep any of them except the odd one from a UA9 on 160 meters, etc.

All of the non-lower-48 QSLs I have received for my K3ZO, W9SZR and W9SZR/3
calls are filed in alphanumeric order by callsign in 80 metal file drawers
(no I am not a stockholder in Steelmaster but I should be).

I admit that the QSL's I have received for my HI8XAL, HS1ABD, HK3NBB,
LU5HFI, HS0ZAR operations etc are not yet so filed BUT SOMEDAY THEY WILL

Now fellows, if I can do all of this, I find it hard to believe that you
can't at least answer the direct cards you receive!

73, Fred                

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